Speed run of Half-Life 2 on normal difficultly in 71 segments. Demos were captured to AVI by David Rickard, appened into one file and compressed to one 320x240 and 640x480 version.
If any Valve employees are reading this I implore you to fix the glitches associated with recording demos in HL2...including, but not limited to:
1. The "scarecrow" effect on allies and enemies alike.
2. Alyx's ice skating glitch.
3. In some areas the crowbar becomes unselectable when recording a demo. Instead, the item with the highest number comes out (i.e. bug bait, rocket launcher).
4. The 'gun down glitch.' When warping from Nova Prospekt to Kleiner's Lab something BAD happens to your weapons. I think this has something rooted in recording at any part of the game, because it still happens if I don't record. However, before this I completed the game three times and it never happened.
What is this glitch? Well, you'll see when you watch the run. All guns are permanently "down" like when you look at an ally. At first this is only a superficial glitch, but it has serious ramifications when using the rocket launcher. As soon as the RPG goes back 'down' you lose control of the missile! This means you only have control for roughly two seconds. If it weren't for the trick on the roof of the museum (so I could avoid the manatee helicopter) I don't think the game would be beatable.
Now for credits....
I must extend a lot of appreciation and love to RandomEngy (he's 'that guy' that beat Hl1 in 45 minutes). He took my demos and made them into movies on his awesome computer, so it looks nice and pretty. The only problem, though, is that his gamma is default I think -- dark parts seem REALLY dark, but that's OK.
Brad "Cyberwrath" Cutler, as usual, was of some help, throwing ideas out and helping me with things.
TRH for giving me the idea to skip the forcefield in Nova Prospekt.
And now to the actual run!
During the course of the run a variety of tricks have been discovered that I couldn't use. I plan, in the not too distant future, to do another run incorporating these discoveries. At this point in time I would guess that the run could be about 10 or 12 minutes faster without too much difficulty.
Perhaps the single biggest discovery I made was that it is possible to make a tower and boost over the door in the main plaza where you must protect Alyx. This saves approximately four minutes.
Chib also discovered that is it possible to skip saving Barney from the snipers and at the lighthouse you can avoid having to fight the four dropships + the gunship. All involve making towers out of objects and abusing what I have called the gravity gun jump or boost.
Basically, if you look down at an object and use the primary fire of the gravity gun while jumping at the same time you will be shot into the air. This makes sense when you realize the fairly realistic physics incorporated into the engine -- they even have the attractive force of the gravity gun falling with the square of the distance. So the force from the gravity gun shoots you up.
The magnitude of the distance varies from object to object. In this run I use it four times:
1. The tower over the door in Anticitizen One (the part where the rebels are pulling down the propaganda screen). There are not enough objects, so I use this to cover the last several feet.
2. Directly after (1), at the first section of hopper mine fields. The large piece of sheet metal is excellent for this trick. Sometimes I go super high and hit the skybox!
3. I use it again in the same chapter. In the area with the bridge that has a rebel cross and get owned by a rocket...if you don't remember that, it's the part where the girl asks for the password for the door and it ends up being 'password.' Well, you can skip ALL that by using the gravity jump on a little trashcan. It propels you over the fence just barely. I used to go to the upper bridge area and then jump over the fence, but this is obviously better.
4. On the roof of the museum (the area with the suppression device) I use it on a small ammo box to skip the gate the Combine usually opens after you defeat the gunship (and they take their sweet time, at that).
I would now like to discuss the Striders and the assault on the Citadel. These bad boys have a weapon called the reality bending laser beam of DOOM (well, the first half is right). It blows holes in buildings and if Freeman touches it he will be vaporized instantly. Luckily, as far as I can tell, Striders only use this beam to HELP you...Valve has programmed them to blow open holes, passages, etc. so you can continue.
For example, in the first area with Striders I run past EVERYTHING. At first I thought the Striders were aiming for me because I kept getting vaporized after the supplies. Then I realized that they specifically aim for the building, making holes in it (three, iirc). Your team mates, being as helpful as ever, tend to block me in that corner...that's where the Strider shoots. So I was expecting to die on that little run, since I just barely get out of the way as the Strider lets go. Whew.
In the next section, the Strider shoots a random point and creates a ramp for you. How considerate. I don't know if this is on a timer or triggered by entering a specific point on the map (anyone good at analyzing maps in the SDK out there?). The point is that I usually have to wait for it anyway. So meh.
Then the final area is the most disgusting when it comes to this. If you get really confused when I jump through the window and kill the Combine that's standing in midair and then we both fall...well, yeah, just say "good job VALVe." At that point many, many Combine teleport in up there while you're SUPPOSED to wait. After a good 3-4 minutes of standing around and massacring troops a Strider will blow a hole down there. I took matters into my own hands.
As I am killing the last Strider, you can see it do exactly that. How silly.
Speaking of killing the Striders...as far as I can tell, you have to. As soon as you step on the beam leading to the next area both striders go into hyper mode (Warning! Warning! Speed runner detected!) and blow you to hell. Also...there's an invisible wall (found out via godmode).
My computer sucks. I run a 1.8 Ghz AMD with a Radeon 9000. Yet Source, in general, runs nicely on my computer (CS:S and HL2). During the speedrun I use all low settings, bump mapping and specular highlighting off, etc. Recordng a demo takes a hit on my frames, so I must compensate. Towards the end of the game areas get quite choppy for me. I think the worst is the final battle with the Striders; I think I was pulling a good 15fps.
At the rate the parts of this game are being hacked off, the final speedrun will be nothing but dialogue, riding in the buggy, and watching Alyx ice skate to her next destination. Cool beans.
There are points in the game where you might think I could go much faster, but at times I can only go as fast as the NPC (i.e. Dog, Barney, Alyx, Gregori). Anything that slows the NPC down slows my net progress. Also, if Barney is trapped outside the 'surprise room' in the museum he will die and you will fail.
My most common error is getting stuck on doorframes or other miscellaneous objects that stick out. A second here, a second there -- with 71 demos, it adds up.
If you want to learn more, comment on my run, or submit your own ideas, check out the SDA forum and post in my already large Hl2 topic. If you're new to the SDA in general, I'd advise you to check out some other runs. This is a great place.